Money's list of America's best small cities

96 of 100
96. Grand Prairie, TX
Grand Prairie
July in Grand Prairie
Top 100 rank: 96
Population: 153,800
Compare Grand Prairie to Top 10 Best Places
Conveniently located between Dallas and Fort Worth and close to D/FW International Airport, Grand Prairie is home to the Southwest Industrial District, where many companies have established distribution and manufacturing centers.

Families enjoy safe and affordable neighborhoods, fishing and boating in Joe Pool Lake, and watching Class-1 horse racing at Lone Star Park.

Residents will soon welcome an outlet mall anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and Neiman Marcus Last Call.

Median family income
(per year)
$64,949 $93,313
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$81,903 $84,802
Sales tax 8.25% 6.60%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
N.A. 5.22%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
N.A. 2.42%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,710 $1,854
Job growth %
15.45% 18.60%
Median home price $154,077 $293,712
Average property taxes
$3,353 $4,072
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Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
29 40
Junior colleges and
technical institutes (within 30 miles)
23 20
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
-0.3% 17.3%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
2.5% 16.6%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
95.8/3.1 89.5/10.5
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
76.2% 76.0%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 3 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 48 25
Median commute time
(in minutes)
24.8 23.0
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
17.3% 15.8%
% population walk or bike to work 1.9% 3.0%
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
100 51
(within 15 miles)
6,838 4,141
(within 15 miles)
572 338
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
305 242
(within 15 miles)
100 90
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
8 11
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) N.A. 13
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.2 1.5
Annual rainfall
37.27 36.31
% clear days in the area 37 30
High temp in July ° F 95.8° 87.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 35.2° 22.9°
Has health plan
(% of residents)
81.8% 88.2%
Body mass index (avg. for residents) 28 27
Diabetes rates
(% of residents diagnosed)
14.6% 9.6%
Hypertension rates
(% of residents diagnosed)
32.7% 27.3%
Median age 31.6 36.0
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
49.6% 73.6%
Married 53.7% 57.5%
Divorced 10.9% 8.3%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
180.7 104.0
Amount spent on vacations
(domestic and foreign, household avg. per year)
$7,274 $8,012
From the August 2008 issue
* County data
** State data
See Grand Prairie in...
...What Readers Say
They speak out on Grand Prairie and other places ...
Exxon Mobil 2
ConocoPhillips 5
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FORTUNE: Best to work for
Methodist Hospital Sys. 10
Whole Foods 16
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Sperling's Best Places
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Do you live in a great place? Does your city have great cafes and culture? Lovely affordable homes? Low crime and a thriving downtown? A thriving local economy? Amazing neighbors? Show us why your town is remarkable: Send your photos and videos, and they could be profiled in an upcoming story.
Top 3

City Median income
New Canaan, CT $231,138
Darien, CT $218,130
Lake Forest, IL $212,122
City % single
Hoboken, NJ 57.7%
Cambridge, MA 52.4%
Somerville, MA 51.4%
City Median home price
Nicholasville, KY $70,000
Watauga, TX $117,040
Redan, GA $115,000
Using statistics from data provider Onboard Informatics and consultant Bert Sperling of, we crunched the numbers in order to zero in on America's best small cities for families. (Last year, we looked at small towns, with populations between 7,500 and 50,000.) More